On Living a Life of Significance: RIP Paul Tibbs Kunz

by Dave Ward | Charge the Summit

An amazing, influential, powerful, accomplished and beautiful life of service has come to an end. We will dearly miss you Great Uncle Paul, or as I have always known him “Uncle Paul.”

After the death of my Father in 2007, I started to really consider what my obituary would say. “Middle of the road attorney caught in the trappings of the material world” just wasn’t going to cut it.  I had no clue what I needed to do or how to get there, but I knew I was not living a life of significance. I was not on the right path. 

I needed to go places. Do things. Experience life and, most importantly, be a significant force for change in the lives of other people. If you have a moment, please read Uncle Paul’s Obituary below. It should amaze you, as it represents a tremendous life. You know what? No one at his funeral said to me, “Oh, when Paul was on the Board of XYZ Corp, he made all the difference,” or “Without Paul on the Board of Examiners, the Bar Association would have fallen apart.” Those things are probably true, but that’s not what people remembered most. 

People told me about very, very dark times in their lives and how Uncle Paul served as a lighthouse for them. One person likened him to a second father. Before I had time to absorb this, someone else told a story about a man who was two years old when his father was struck and killed by lightening. He was essentially taken in by my Grandfather and Uncle Paul treated him as a brother, if not a son. Later that day, he would tell my Grandfather in response to a favor: “You ask. I do.” That’s respect, and you don’t get it by serving on a Board, attending Rotary meetings, or earning a million dollars a year. Those things just give you an opportunity to get in the way of those in need. 

Life is typically defined not by what happens to you, but how you respond. When my Grandfather was 12, and Paul was 4, their father died. They could have responded by becoming bitter and vengeful at this lot that life had handed them. But, they didn’t. Instead, my Grandfather assumed the role of “Father,” with Paul as his second in command. They received a lot of the same kind of help they would later go on to provide to others. 

People like my Grandfather and Uncle Paul inspire me to accomplish truly great things with my life. Not for the nice words in the local paper, but for the impact and significance that people like him leave on their communities, the people that live in them, and the world at large. Today, we did not mourn a loss…we celebrated a life and, indeed, a lighthouse.


Paul Tibbs Kunz

September 23, 1925 ~ March 10, 2015

Paul Tibbs Kunz, age 89, of Ogden, Utah passed away on March 10, 2015 of a heart attack in Seattle, Washington. Paul was born in Montpelier, Idaho, on September 23, 1925, the third child of David C. and Jessie T. Kunz. When Paul was four, his father died and his mother lovingly raised him in faith, integrity and kindness. He graduated from Montpelier High School. He then attended the University of Utah.

To put himself through school, Paul worked at a dairy and he eventually purchased a gas station. During the Korean War, he enlisted with his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers. He served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force. After his return, he attended law school at the University of Utah and obtained a Juris Doctorate in 1956.

On July 11, 1958, Paul married Sarah “Sharee” Moreton in the Logan LDS Temple. He was a loving husband and a devoted father of five children. They loved summers spent at Bear Lake and shared many happy times there with family and friends. Paul and Sharee enjoyed their travels around the world together. One of their favorite destinations was Coronado, California in the winter months. Music was a lifelong passion for Paul. As a teenager, he played the saxophone in a dance band at the Fish Haven Lodge on Bear Lake. Paul and Sharee regularly enjoyed Utah Symphony concerts and the Sun Valley Jazz Festival. Paul’s music CDs were a favorite gift to family and friends.

After being admitted to the Utah State Bar, Paul became a law partner with his brother David S. Kunz in Ogden, Utah. He practiced law for 58 years specializing in banking law and estate planning. He was elected as a Fellow of American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a national organization to recognize attorneys with outstanding expertise in estate planning. His career included service to the community as Chairman of Board of Utah State Bar Examiners, President of Weber County Bar Association, and Attorney for the City of Washington Terrace.

Paul worked as Co-counsel for the Bank of Utah from 1958 to 1993. He continued to serve as a member of the Bank of Utah Board of Directors. At the time of his death, he was Chairman of Trust Committee and Chairman of Officer’s Compensation Committee. He was active in the business community as member of the Ogden City Industrial Development Corporation, and member of the Weber County Economic Development Corporation.

He accomplished much in his 40 years of service with Intermountain Healthcare. As a Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the McKay-Dee Hospital, he took great interest in the planning and construction of the new McKay-Dee Hospital Center in Ogden, Utah. He was a member of the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees.

Other charitable foundations and associations for which he was a board member include the Ogden School Foundation, Ogden Symphony Ballet Foundation, Ogden Rotary Club Charitable Foundation, American Heart Association, and Boy Scouts of America Trapper Trails Council. Honors received include the McKay-Dee Hospital Charitable Foundation Annual Community Service Award as well as “The William N. Jones Annual Trustee of Excellence Award”.

Paul served faithfully in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint as Bishop, First Counselor in the bishopric, Stake High Counselor, High Priest Group Leader, Young Men’s Presidency, teacher, and recently as the maintenance coordinator for the Stake Camp. He was a dedicated home teacher.

Paul is survived by his loving wife, Sharee; his four children, Fred (Sharon) Kunz, Walt (Karen) Kunz, Paul (Cindy) Kunz, and Mary (Gordon) Peterson; 21 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; and his brother David S. (Evelyn) Kunz, all whom he loved very much. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sarah Adele Dransfield; his parents, and sister Winifred.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11 a.m. at the Weber Heights Stake Center, 1401 Country Hills Dr., Ogden, Utah. A viewing for family and friends will be held on Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. and 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church prior to the funeral services. Interment, Lindquist’s Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Rd.,Ogden, Utah.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation, Ogden Symphony Ballet Association, Ogden School Foundation or a charity of your choice.

About Dave Ward

Retired lawyer turned marketer that spends a lot of time doing cool shit.

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